How mobility apps streamline vehicle onboarding with Smartcar Connect

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

Businesses use Smartcar Connect to give their customers more control of their connected vehicles. Learn how we help mobility apps onboard more users by accelerating development, delivering easy-to-use experiences, and providing a flexible platform to scale.

Connected cars are redefining the expectations of future car buyers.

The “software-defined dream car”, as called out by Boston Consulting Group, is more than just a vehicle. It’s a personal, accessible and secure digital experience on wheels.

But there are roadblocks to creating this dream experience. For mobility businesses, this starts with the heavy cost and effort of building and maintaining unique integrations with different car brands.

At Smartcar, we give businesses an easier way to build the future of mobility. For companies like Recurrent — a platform that monitors EV battery performance ― this led to millions of engineering dollars saved and a 6 to 12 month headstart on taking their business to market.

All this starts with Smartcar Connect, a pre-built user consent flow that enables your application to connect with a compatible vehicle. Here’s how the Smartcar Connect flow unlocks the doors (see what we did there) for mobility applications to reach more users in a shorter period of time.

A simpler point of entry to connect to any car

We kept the developer experience top of mind so our customers can confidently integrate user consent in their applications with minimal guidance and development effort. Smartcar Connect keeps user onboarding flows consistent and straightforward across 22 car brands in the US and 9 car brands in Europe. We also included a Test Mode for developers to run through a flow and ensure quality.

Smartcar Connect adapts to different web or mobile application structures so businesses can connect to a wide range of vehicles without dealing with fragmented APIs or overhauling existing app architecture. You can read more on starting the integration in our getting started guide and check out our SDKs for iOS, Android, and Web.

But simpler connectivity doesn’t mean compromised security. User data is collected in compliance with the OAuth2 authorization protocol and is SSL encrypted. Smartcar has also embedded a Privacy Policy collection within the flow, giving developers one less thing to worry about.

Here’s something else businesses don’t have to concern themselves with — product updates. Smartcar Connect automatically receives new features and additional vehicle compatibility without requiring code changes by developers.

An intuitive user journey

We designed our user authorization flow to provide a clear, informative and visually appealing experience for any user. Although Smartcar Connect is the only touchpoint a vehicle owner has with Smartcar, it’s also an incredibly important one. A user may choose not to connect their vehicle to an app because:

🤔 They don't know if their vehicle is a connected car
🔐 They have concerns about data privacy
⚙  The instructions are hard to understand

The Smartcar Connect flow was thoughtfully implemented to avoid these obstacles during the onboarding process. It’s available in English, French, and Japanese (more coming soon!) and kicks off with three simple steps: 1) select a car brand, 2) sign in, and 3) give consent.

We spent time analyzing common user behavior to design concise interfaces that users can understand at a glance. This included creating paths for users unsure of vehicle compatibility, instructions for those without a connected car account, and secure login flows for 1-click logins, 2FA and PIN support, and password resets. And it’s all optimized to look great on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

When it comes to collecting user consent, Smartcar gives vehicle owners complete transparency about the  data they share with an application.  All permissions are displayed right in the Smartcar Connect flow for a user to review before their vehicle is connected.

By earning the trust of vehicle owners, we want to help businesses onboard more vehicles and convert more users for their mobility apps.

Personalized app experience for targeted markets

Whether it’s to help electric grids monitor EV charging or collect vehicle mileage for road usage charge, Smartcar Connect is used across different industries and use cases.

We know that personalized user experiences reduce confusion and friction, especially when collecting consent data from vehicle owners. To enable apps to better work with intended users, Smartcar Connect gives apps the flexibility to define permissions for specific car brands or vehicle makes.

Here’s how businesses can use Smartcar Connect to improve user experience for their customers:

  • Compatibility API: Verify a vehicle’s eligibility for an app before bringing users through the consent flow
  • Brand Select: Skips car brand selection screen to speed up onboarding
  • Single Select: Skips car brand selection screen and limits user to connect to vehicles with a specific VIN
  • Advanced vehicle selection: Give users the ability to unselect vehicles, select multiple vehicles at once, or select only one vehicle to authorize on an app

Our getting started guide has more recommendations on when and how to launch a user consent flow in a product’s user journey.

Better integrations for a bigger competitive edge

We hope this gives you a deeper look into how Smartcar Connect helps businesses spend less time developing custom integrations and more time building the future of mobility. Read our customer stories to learn how mobility apps across industries stay competitive by implementing our authorization flow to accelerate scalability.

Looking for simpler connectivity, smooth user journeys and personalized onboarding experiences? Schedule a demo and discover how Smartcar can help you.


Vehicle brands, logos, and model names belong to their respective trademark holders and do not indicate endorsement or affiliation with Smartcar.

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